I’m a sucker for beautiful things. I enjoy posting pictures of majestic mountains, or tropical beaches, or quaint cities from different parts of the world.
But grandeur isn’t limited to large or exotic places. I enjoy travel, but always look forward to coming home. There’s beauty here, too, if on a smaller scale. I have to look no farther than the tiny yard that surrounds my house.
Yesterday the June bugs came out in force, having apparently overslept, buzzing about the grass like rectangular emeralds on wings.
The bumblebees are doing their job, crawling in and out of my squash blossoms, bouncing on the lantana’s tiny flowers, occasionally competing with passing butterflies.
We’ve been given a world that is so amazing. We take from it food and water, stone and wood, all kinds of minerals and the energy required to transform them into useful things.
We didn’t earn these plains and forests and mountains, these rivers and lakes and seas. We didn’t do a thing to deserve them.
But we must do what we can to preserve them. Gratitude should be motivation enough; concern for our children and our children’s children should be all the answer one needs when wavering between financial gain and care for the planet.
To respond to the earth’s beauty with the resolve to protect it — now that has a beauty of its own.
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.